Click here to get your Declutter 365 products for 2024

Declutter Plastic Cutlery & Take Out Supplies: 15 Minute Mission

use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Today's decluttering mission is to declutter plastic and disposable silverware and cutlery as well as other take out supplies.

The sky's the limit on what these additional supplies may be. Everyone has their own types of things they tend to stash.

How to #declutter plastic silverware and cutlery, and other take out supplies from napkins, condiment packets, and more {a #Declutter365 mission on Home Storage Solutions 101} #Declutteringuse this Pin it button to save to Pinterest
For me every time my family gets take out I end up using my own silverware (I prefer to use the real stuff!) but I end up saving all these forks, knives, and sporks.

For others it may be napkins, little packets of salt and pepper, condiment packets, etc.

There are many reasons we keep stuff like this. Some of these include that it was free, or I paid for it as part of my meal so I want to keep it. There's also, I hate to throw it away, and I might need them later. Or you just may hate to waste them.

For whatever reason you keep them what happens then, often, is that they all get tossed in a drawer and then eventually it starts to pile up.

When you are decluttering don't throw them all out, obviously, if you do periodically use some of it. On the other hand, be realistic. If you have accumulated a large collection of stuff you clearly accumulate faster than you use it so now is the time to pare it down to a more reasonable amount.

The question then becomes of what to do with the stuff you've decided to declutter.

Bonus points if you tell me ideas for what to do with the items in the comments.

Obviously, recycle when you can instead of throwing things straight in the trash can. But in addition, I believe many of these take out supplies could be used by someone, even if you personally can't. So definitely consider donation as well.

Tell me in the comments your ideas for places where you could donate these types of items that would really appreciate them.

In addition, at the bottom of the article I've provided a few simple ideas for how to stop accumulating this type of clutter in your home from now on.

Top photo courtesy of Liz Latham at Hoosier Homemade, and second photo in collage courtesy of a reader, Michelle

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to kitchen clutter.

Don't Forget To Check Your Car For This Stuff!

All the take out supplies and similar clutter found in car when Karin decluttered {featured on Home Storage Solutions 101}

When doing this mission don't forget to check your car and get rid of any of these types of items from there.

We'll do a full car interior decluttering mission later as well, but get that stuff out of these at some point soon!

The photo above is from a reader, Karin. She said, "When I cleaned out our cars last September, look at what I found...LOL"

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to kitchen clutter.

Look At What Readers Have Decluttered!

Here are some of the supplies that readers have decluttered when doing this mission.

Amanda found all kinds of take out containers that she'd saved. She exclaimed, "45 pieces GONE!"

Get rid of excess take out supplies as part of the #Declutter365 missions on Home Storage Solutions 101

Kate decluttered a bunch of spoons, saying, "I think we can stop saving our 16 Handles yogurt spoons."

Get rid of excess plastic cutlery as part of the #Declutter365 missions on Home Storage Solutions 101

Rita decluttered all these condiment packets, saying, "I recycle the cutlery and paper plates, but I did have packs of condiments I will not ever use! I used to take them to a place I worked, but haven't worked there in 2-3 years! So here's my stash I tossed today! Love these mini challenges! So quick and EASY to do!"

Decluttered condiment packets as part of the #Declutter365 missions on Home Storage Solutions 101

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to kitchen clutter.

Tips To Keep From Accumulating These Items In Excess In Your Home From Now On

If after doing this mission you find you've accumulated way too many of these supplies, such as enough condiment packets to use for a good three years or more, etc., then you need to set some ground rules for yourself for the future so this doesn't happen again.

Say No To Taking Them Just Because They're Free

You may think it takes too much effort to tell someone not to add these types of things to your take out packages, but just remember how much effort it is taking right now to declutter it!

You've got to get yourself out of the mentality that just because something is free you need to take it. In fact, I wrote an entire article on this concept here.

Similarly, only take what you'll use right during that meal, instead of also taking extra for later. That just leads to waste.

Designate A Space For The Supplies & When Its Full That's It!

A similar concept is to choose a container for these take out supplies, and once it is full, stop accumulating them. Don't try to keep shoving more in, or adding another container. Just say no.

Make A Concerted Effort To Use These Items If You Are Going To Keep Them

Finally, if you're going to save some of these items for later, make a concerted effort to make sure later comes.

Go ahead and use some of these supplies. Some ideas include:
  • Camping
  • Picnics
  • Packed lunches for yourself or kids
  • Busy nights in
Similarly, if you collect all those condiment packets actually eat them. A lot of those packets don't have expiration dates, but you know eventually even those condiments will be past their peak. So if you've had some in a drawer for 15 years, you might just want to toss it all to be safe and start fresh!

Tell me below your tips for not accumulating too much of an excess of these items again once you've done this mission.

Want To Do More Decluttering Missions? Get Started With Declutter 365 Today!

Declutter 365 missions: 15 minute missions for your entire home

Once you declutter one type of item in your home I bet you'll want to declutter some more. After all, decluttering gives you a great reward for even a small investment of time and energy.

The Declutter 365 system is designed to help you declutter, over the course of a year, your entire house, with just 15 minutes of decluttering each day!

Hundreds of thousands of people use this proven system to get rid of their clutter, and bring peace and calm back to their homes.

Declutter 365 works to guide you to clear the clutter without overwhelm, focusing on just one small area at a time, and without making a huge mess in the process, so you see consistent forward progress without all that "messy middle" that makes it even harder to function in your home than before you started.

In addition to building a daily decluttering habit, the Declutter 365 program, along with the accompanying 52 Week Organized Home Challenge, teaches you the skills, habits, routines, and mindsets necessary to maintain the clutter free and organized state of your home from now on, so it'll never be as messy and cluttered as it is right now, ever again.

If you haven't already, make sure to get your copy of this year's Declutter 365 annual calendar here (it's FREE!), find today's date, and do 15 minutes of decluttering on the day's mission. Then, repeat again tomorrow, and again and again. Over the course of the next year, if you do this 15 minutes per day, you'll declutter your whole house!

Click here to take me to this year's Declutter 365 calendar

Get This Kitchen Decluttering Checklist + 32 Other Decluttering Checklists For Your Home

Right now you're decluttering your kitchen, and there's a lot of stuff to declutter in this space.

Get your 2 page kitchen decluttering checklist, plus 32 other decluttering checklists, to help you declutter your entire home here.

Get this kitchen decluttering checklist and 32 other decluttering checklists for your home {on Home Storage Solutions 101}

I've done the hard work of breaking down these tasks into smaller more manageable steps for you, so you don't get overwhelmed or worry you're forgetting a task, and you can go at the pace you want, whether that's fast or slow.

In addition, you can tackle these decluttering tasks in whatever order you want when you use these checklists!

Click here to learn more about 33 Decluttering Checklists Pack

One idea would be to also declutter party supplies, since often you have excess old napkins, plasticware, and more from these old party supplies.

How to declutter party supplies and decorations

Reminder to throw away those sauce packets in the drawer {on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

How to declutter take out supplies, condiment packets, plastic silverware and more {#Declutter365 mission on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Top photo courtesy of Rex Roof

Related Pages You May Enjoy

Getting Clutter Free 15 Minutes At A Time Hall Of Fame

Getting Rid Of Kitchen Clutter Hall Of Fame

Go From How To Declutter Plastic Cutlery & Take Out Supplies To Home Page

Comments for Tips To Keep From Accumulating These Items In Excess In Your Home From Now On

Click here to add your own comments

Other uses for take out supplies - camping and parties
by: Angel

I put my take out supplies in 2 clear plastic storage containers. One of them labeled camping and the other labeled party. We have about 3 annual pot lucks a year so I grab the container labeled party and use up the silverware and any condiment packages I can. This is also convenient when you go camping so you don't have to bring such heavy silverware or condiment bottles with you and they're both easy clean up.

Plastic cutlery and condiment ideas
by: Louise

I ONCE in awhile use the plastic knives for outside work, while I'm digging in my flower pots. Not that you need many. I do keep a ziploc bag in the car for plastic silverware, napkins, salt and pepper, etc., for when we order pizza and take it for a picnic.

As for the condiments, I keep them in a tupperware container. I Did use lemon juice one night for fish, which I did not have lemons for. Every now and then I open sugar packets, and put in my sugar canister, salt and pepper in the shakers. It does add up. I use the sauces from chicken nuggets, for marinating meats, etc. I'm always afraid I'll run out of something and won't be able to get to the store! Ketchup is about the only one that gets wasted with me. Jellies need to be used ASAP, b/c they do not have a long shelf life.

Keeping or Giving - ideas for both
by: Anonymous

I keep a large plastic tote in the garage for birthday/holiday leftover plates/napkins and birthday table décor, bulk plasticware, sleeves of large plastic cups and Styrofoam cups for large gatherings.

An idea for give-away for individually wrapped plasticware and condiments would be to put several into a baggie, perhaps with napkins, paper towels, or packaged wipes, and hand out to the homeless.

Teachers lounge
by: Anonymous

I'm a teacher and I'm taking all my plastic forks spoons, etc. to the teachers lounge. I can't tell you how many times my colleagues and I have needed a utensil while eating lunch but can't find any!

Bless your Workplace
by: Anonymous

Last time I decluttered my plastic cutlery I bagged it all up and put it in the lunchroom at work. We run out of it frequently there so it was a win-win for both places!

what to do with plastic ware
by: Jamie

1. People at work are always running out of plastic ware, so I put my extras in a common drawer in our office.

2. I keep a small bag of extra plastic ware in the car, so if we go to a picnic, we already have the forks in the car, so we don't have to use any of theirs--going green!

3. I keep a few in my car. If and when we go to fast food, I tell them "no spoons", etc., and then we use our own.

4. Taking food places that needs plastic ware. I take my menagerie from the drawers. Who cares if it doesn't match?!

plastic takeout silverware
by: Beth

We take ours on vacation and use instead of the silverware that comes in the condo. The salt and pepper come in handy if you don't want to buy those large items to take back with you.

donate them!
by: Joyce

Donate to a soup kitchen, your church for use at social hour after worship or summer picnic, area senior citizen group or child daycare center.

Take them to work!
by: Jennifer

I keep a bag hanging on our coat hooks, and toss the plastic ware in there as it comes into the house (I too prefer to use our "real" silverware when we get takeout, and plates too, usually). Then, every so often, I take that bag into work with me (I usually work from home, so it's not too often), and leave it in our communal area where we often bring in snacks to share, or have our potlucks. Our office no longer supplies plates and plastic ware as they used to, and sometimes someone finds themselves without a needed item - or when we have potlucks someone has to be assigned to bring plates/plastic, etc - this way there's a handy stash should someone be in need. We do the same with sugar packets and condiments too.

Reuse that plastic flatware!
by: Anonymous

I always take it home and wash it, if it has been used, then take it to the office for co-workers to use at lunch, for birthday cakes, etc. They usually throw it away after but at least it has been used!

tell them you don't want it when you get take out
by: Anonymous

When you order take out on the phone tell the person taking your order you do not want plastic dinnerware. When you pick up your order make sure then, that they did not put in your bag plastic dinnerware. It's called communication.

I take mine to work too!
by: Anonymous

I will take my extra plastic cutlery and take out supplies to my job and put them in the break room. They seem to be in great demand and I never see any leftover!

I'm going to donate mine
by: Anonymous

A local feeding program or soup kitchen might be willing to deal with the inefficiency of a mismatch day to help their utensils budget go farther. Haven't done it yet, but that's the plan your article inspired!

Plastic forks and condiments
by: Gwen

At our favorite Asian place I often remember to tell them not to put the forks and soy sauce in the order. We take it home and eat it, putting it on real plates and using real utensils. And I like the lower sodium soy sauce so don't use theirs.

Too much plastic!
by: Krista

The condiment packet may be free for the customer but not for the place that you got it from. Something to keep in mind. I have some of the plastic forks, etc. in an emergency pack in the car. Giving some others to my daughter when she moves out soon. I keep a gallon ziplock with the plastics in them in a cupboard. Use them in my lunch bag for work and for other places. Extra is disposed of. The hubby keeps bringing them home from the Mexican food place across the street from where I live. They are closing soon and then this problem will hopefully go away.

Give to the homeless
by: Anonymous

I keep them in my car and include them in my bags for the homeless. That way if you can donate food they have the utensils to eat it with.

Entertaining Basket
by: Anonymous

I have compiled a basket of supplies needed for when unexpected company comes over, or we are brown bagging, or picnicking. It has all the plastic cutlery, plates, bowls, cups and table cloths and napkins. It's labeled as "Pick-in-nic Basket". I restock as needed and always put any leftover takeout containers and spare cutlery and packets in there. Be prepared was the Girl Guide motto!

where to donate
by: Nancy

I put mine in a small bag with handles and take it to the elementary school near me for the teachers to use for lunch or using for birthday cakes. I was a teacher and half the time no one had silverware to eat their lunch with and they do not have time to search for some.

I freeze for later
by: Anonymous

I take the cheese and peppers you get with pizza and put them all together in one freezer bag and freeze for future use.

blessings bags
by: lw

I did this at the start of the year and made up "blessings bags" for anyone I see that needs one. They've also really come in handy when one my kids and I are in the car (dr's apt., road trip, etc.) I have an "emergency bag" (with socks and campstove, food, utensils); but I'd like to borrow the picnic bag idea too, to be a little purposeful about our outings!

Dealing with disposables
by: Anonymous

Once in a while we entertain the youth from church on Sunday. Last time we had an ice cream bar. I was very happy to use my paper bowls and my plastic spoons because they are so messy!

I decluttered my pantry a few weeks ago and put all my paper and plastics in one neat pile so that everything is now together and easy to get at.

Give to friends still working
by: Anonymous

I am retired so I no longer go to the office but I save this stuff and give to friends who are still working to take to their office or job site.

Plasticware and Condiments
by: Jean Gray

Keep a zipper bag of each, in your vehicle, for takeout. Keep a stash at home for lunch boxes/ bags, easy clean-up meals and snacks. Include unopened pieces and sets with canned good donations, or appropriate food gifts.

Condiment packets
by: Sandy

I store those extra condiment packets (standing up) in a clear 4X6 card file box in the back of my refrigerator. So if I need a butter, honey, ketchup, mustard, tarter, sweet & sour or mayo there it is ready for an emergency, lunches or picnics. Also could use the smaller 3X5 size instead.

Picnics in the Park
by: Anonymous

I use the plastic cutlery and straws for picnics that I bring for performances (plays, concerts) that are held in the park. Rather than take that stuff home I bring a garbage bag for trash and pitch it.

decluttering plastic ware
by: Melanie G

I was just rounding this stuff up at home and thinking about what to do. My husband is a college minister and has an office on campus. The 'kids' hang out there a lot. I am going to take this stuff there, they tend to use disposable because who has time to wash in between classes? I prefer real at home.

Storing plastic forks, etc.
by: Susan Willams

I store extra plastic forks and knives in the picnic basket that we take on trips. It is out of my kitchen, but easy to get to if I need it!

Leftover paper plates, etc.
by: Fran

We don't have an excess of condiments or plastic cutlery from fast food places, but when we go on vacation to a condo, we take our partly used, unmatched partyware (paper plates and cups) to use instead of running the dishwasher. Much easier cleanup for breakfast, lunches and snacks, and it uses up the odds and ends.

donate to soup kitchen
by: Michelle

I donate all unused plasticware and condiment packets from to-go places to a soup kitchen!

Pay it forward
by: Marcia

All state parks have a common hut for campers, a large permanent structure where campers can leave books for instance. I always leave just such as this, unopened condiment packages and plastic ware. Many has been the time I realized I had forgotten to pack a spoon or ketchup. So now, I keep up all year and take when camping bag.

How to reuse plastic takeout containers for gardening
by: Pam Lay

Plastic containers with lids if you poke holes in the bottom makes great mini greenhouses to start planting in the spring. Makes them portable if it gets below freezing. You can take them inside over night when that happens if same size you can even stack them until the morning.

Plastic cutlery uses for gardening
by: Pam Lay

Plastic forks and plastic knives work great and a curtain especially if they are the white ones. Use a permanent marker stick the prong and the fork into the ground and right what your garden product is. If you have problems with rabbits you can put the pointed ends of the fork of making a circle around plants you want to protect facing outward. Rabbits and other animals don't like those points so they leave your plant alone. Plastic spoons are good when you are working with young seedlings to help pick them out of the dirt without damaging the plants are around which you could do easily with a trowel this phone makes it easier to work around the young crowded plants. I keep silverware drawer in my planting shed of these plastic cutlery. Great for the garden!

Take take-out cutlery and packets to work
by: Judy A.

I take them to work for lunches, snacks, etc. We're always looking for forks, extra straws and sugar packets.

donate to those less fortunate
by: Robbi

I have been thinking of who I could give my plastic cutlery to and it dawned on me while reading your article that I can take them to our local Daily Bread where they serve food for the less fortunate. I know it will be appreciated and sanitary to boot. Thanks for all your articles. I enjoy reading them all and the information is awesome.

Yogurt spoons
by: Suzanne

Kate, you are never going to believe this, but I have just sent for some spoons similar to the ones that you have thrown out.
Firstly, in the UK, you don't get a spoon with a yogurt but more importantly is that now I have let my nails grow, I cannot bear the feel of cream under my nails. One or two of your yogurt spoons would overcome this. I can dip the spoon either rounded or flat end into the cream, pop it into the palm of my hand and hey presto, no cream under my nails. You have disposed of yours, while I have just ordered some. It's a funny old world we live in.

Keep in car
by: Anonymous

I do keep a few of these in my car. Sometimes I forget utensils with my lunch from home so these are perfect for those emergencies!

Food bank
by: Anonymous

Extra plastic ware that's individually wrapped can be donated to food banks. Also I substitute teach and teachers always need extra plastic ware in the teachers lounge.

paper napkins
by: Birgit

When my grandson helped setting up for the prom I donated pizza for the kids and was given tons of napkins. All the unused napkins I took to work for anyone to use. I still have some at home to use in the microwave to cover up food that is being reheated instead of paper towels.

plastic cutlery
by: Birgit

I got tons of plastic forks after a high school prom. I couldn't stomach that they were going to throw out all the unused forks. Took them to work for anyone to use and as needed.

easy to squeeze
by: Geri

I throw condiments in my refrigerator drawer until I accumulate a bunch. Then I take a moment to squeeze out the ketchup packets in my open ketchup bottle, salad dressings into my salad dressing bottle, etc. No waste -- no problem.

where I donate
by: Janet S.

I give my plastic silverware to my daughter. She works at a middle school. She said that they can always use them in the teachers' lunchroom.

I have also given oodles to friends for high school graduation parties.

Recycle to Small Businesses
by: Karen

My hairstylist of many years has a client who saves and brings her plastic cutlery and condiments. My stylist stays at her shop all day instead of going out to lunch and coming back, so she often needs these items.

Stop bringing it home
by: Mary

In future don’t accept those items with your take out that you are just going to throw out. If you eat yogurt that much bring the spoon back with you and reuse it. Bring a container with you to restaurant to bring home your leftovers so they don’t go into awful plastic. What horrible waste!! Save the planet.

Extra condiments
by: Anonymous

Collect and send them overseas to our military personnel. You can send care packages to our CDN Military personnel from November to January free of charge thru Canada Post. Yes they are served meals but who doesn’t like a snack in their rooms.

by: Kevin K.

When I come across this opportunity my first go to is the local shelter. Shelters will utilize things most people will toss, in this case plastic cutlery.They will also use plastic containers without a top (individual serving containers). Mismatched socks, old t-shirts, linen etc. Basically when a person has nothing something is always better.

You could also give it to a fire station near you, they don't always have time to wash dishes so disposable items are a must.

Sometimes a High School will take the cutlery that are already sealed in plastic wrap.

Hopefully this helps put you in the right direction and thank you for re-purposing.

No thank you!
by: Anonymous

When I pick up to meals I ask them not to give me any utensils. They can give them to someone else. It saves me from not having to store them or guilt of throwing them away.

Homeless can use takeout collection clutter.
by: Kay

Having volunteered at three different food pantries I know that most pantries put together food kits for homeless patrons. Things like small tins of meats, peanut butter and jams/jellies as well as small packages of crackers are included. The cutlery and condiment packages we collect from takeout food work perfectly to go in these kits. Ketchup, mustard, relish as well as the cutlery and napkins come in handy to those who don’t have access to them.

Bring them to work
by: Rachel

I usually bring them to work and put them in the shared kitchen area so my colleagues and I might use them if we forget our own silverware. My workplace provides silverware but it keeps disappearing all the time.

Recycling in progress
by: Anonymous

Gather what you want to donate. Take them to your workplace break room. Give them to your child’s school teacher lounge. De clutter accomplished.

Use on vacation
by: Fran

We keep them in a box that we take on vacation to our time-share and use them there. We also take any leftover paper plates and cups from holidays or parties.

Plastic utensils from takeout and FF

I’ve found that all the women’s shelters, homeless shelters, and many organizations and church ministries that hand out food to seniors and families with less means LOVE to get the sealed, still-in-wrapper plastic utensils! So I’m done with hoarding the plastics that we set aside when ordering takeout.

I had TWO completely filled plastic drawer sets filled with plastic utensils... carefully sorted knives/forks/spoons. 😳 Yeah... so now they have found a happy home at a women and children’s shelter downtown in the city where I live. They were thrilled. So glad I called before adding to my Recycle bin for pickup!!

(You might try to get into the habit of taking them in more frequently than I did. LOL. Or, possibly take them to the break room where you work, provided it isn’t frowned upon. Also it’s a great idea to ask at pickup that the utensils NOT be included. Even the restaurants would love this!)

Saying "No" doesn't always work
by: Anonymous

Whenever we get takeout or delivery, we request that the business not give us disposable utensils or paper napkins. There has *not been a single instance* in which they have honored this request. One time when I was picking up takeout I reminded the man who was bagging my order that I didn't need any of those items. He seemed quite distressed by this, and wanted to know "but how will you eat the food?" When I told him we had utensils and napkins at home he seemed never to have considered that possibility before!

In any event, to those of you who have said or implied that that we should "just say no," We do. And it has yet to actually work.

Plastic take-out containers
by: Eloise

Keep several different sizes in your trunk in a easy to carry tote, enough for yourself and others in your group. This way, when you eat out and have leftovers, you have a sturdy container that cleans easily on top shelf of dishwasher, keeps costs down at restaurant and most importantly, keeps styrofoam out of our use stream.

Emergency Bag
by: Anonymous

Hopefully this is a use not needed by most of us, but as caregiver for my husband who has multiple medical issues and my 84 yo old mom, I’ve had to make some quick getaways when they’ve been hospitalized. If you’ve ever spent much time in a hospital room, you know how nice it would be to have those extra condiments and the utensils you’ve saved easily accessible. Sometimes the staff is very helpful in getting these things for the sitter and sometimes they try to be but either don’t have what you need or get too busy to bring them. Besides, I don’t want to be a nuisance. I’ve learned to keep an emergency hospital bag packed and ready with several necessities and the utensils and condiments. Now when a visitor brings food, I have the items I need to truly enjoy without having to scrounge for utensils or the condiments that would make the meal or snack just perfect. I’ve also learned to include some disposable containers and zipper type bags as they come in handy for many purposes.

Plastic cutlery
by: Anonymous

Lately I have been removing them from the take out bag and not taking them, especially if I am eating the food at home. Also we have sporks in the car. I set a limit on the number of condiment packs we keep.

Productive use of extra take out supplies
by: Sue M

My husband and I bring them into work. We put most of them in our break rooms and keep some in our desk.

Reuse of condiments
by: Anonymous

If your city or town has a Senior center that serves lunch, donate unopened condiments. These places are on a budget and any useable things like that will be less that they need to buy.

plastic silverware
by: Pam

I donate plastic silverware and extra dishes in general to women's shelters. Women and their children often leave home with no time to gather things they will need in a new home. The shelter I donate to is always appreciative of these items. And don't forget unwanted clothing, especially for teenagers of both sexes. There are homeless shelters and food banks also that could use these.

Take Out Packets, Unused Kitchen Items
by: Chefette Carlette

There is a group in our area that sends care packages to our military, they love to get the individual packets of everything from sweet and sour sauce, soy sauce, duck sauce to ketchup and pizza Parmesan cheese along with all the others. They said the soldiers love getting a little taste of home with these items. Most favorite...Arby’s sauce! SIDE NOTE: Also needed are coffee mugs (that we all have an abundance of, lol).

I donate all of our plastic cutlery to the neighborhood church that they take to camp, they also like getting all the extra utensils you have cluttering your kitchen drawers, extra serving spoons, spatulas and the like. You might contact your church to see what they can use. I live in Oklahoma and when there is a natural disaster all churches are in need of a lot of items that most people have and don’t use, such as those hotel size bottles of shampoo and soaps. Hope this helps.

Chefette Carlette XO 🍷

Hope this helps. LOVE your blog!

Uses For Takeout Containers
by: Peggy

I usually save my take out containers and when I have company and want to share it with my guests so I won't have too much of the leftover food in the fridge, I just use one of the take out containers to give to them and if they toss it or use it in the future I won't be short on my own containers. I never have any expectations of them returning the container.

I also use the containers when I make big batches of food, as a storage container in the freezer. I really like the ones that are divided into 2 or 3 sections and don't have to worry that something with a sauce saturates another item like vegetables.

Take-out containers use
by: Linda

Many times I send food home with my adult kids so the take-out containers are used for that food. I've learned not to send food home in my "good" containers, because I may never see them again! :)

Use that paper!
by: Ren

I keep all those napkins in a drawer near my sink, then use them to wipe counters instead of paper towels (sponges just spread germs around.) Saves money on all those paper towels we buy!

Donation: Plastic utensils (unused) from drive-through restaurants
by: Anonymous

Does anyone know of an organization that can use donated unopened plastic utensils from drive-through restaurants? Even when we tell them that we don't want the utensils, we often find them in our bag anyway.

Soup Kitchens taking Plastic Cutlery
by: Kathy

I just donated a couple hundred forks, knives and spoons to the local soup kitchen. They were grateful. I called around and a lot of places would only take if they were still in sealed bags. I had a lot of sealed cutlery, but also a lot of loose, clean, never-used cutlery. With all the takeout families do during Covid-19, it's a shame that most folks just discard the plastic cutlery, especially when we eat at home and we use our own. Hint: When ordering online, you can put in the "notes" section NO PLASTIC CUTLERY NEEDED. If ordering on the phone just tell them you don't need it.

What to do with PACKAGED, i.e. wrapped in sealed plastic and wrapped straws.
by: Tim Dempsey

What I'd like to do is give them to the homeless that don't always have access to clean or a place to clean utensils but I'm not sure how or where? :(

Keep cats out of pots - plastic forks reuse idea
by: Anonymous

If you are container gardening, you can "plant" plastic forks with the tines up and the handles down in the dirt to keep cats and birds out of your pots while waiting for the seeds to sprout and grow.

by: Anonymous

I take the plastic ware to work or I put it in big ziploc and give to family members who camp! They love it!

Looking for a home for all these cutlery sets
by: Anonymous

Especially since Covid hit and all of our restaurant dining has been done with takeout, even when we tell them to include no silverware they always seem to. So many sets sitting around that we’d love to not throw in the garbage. Looking for any ideas.

Plastic silverware - where I give it away
by: Anonymous

I save my plastic silverware for my daughter. She is a teacher and takes her lunch to school everyday. Some of it she uses and the rest she puts in the teachers room for others to use.

Take to work
by: KLR

Sometimes I take these to work and put in our staff lounge. Someone has always forgotten forks, etc. Then it's not wasted.

Plastic cutlery donation idea
by: Sandy

I donate the wrapped plastic cutlery to my friends that work with our homeless population.

Plasticware to day care centers, churches, kitchens
by: Anonymous

Many day care centers, churches, or food kitchens for the homeless would love to have these items.

Takeout cutlery - extras in the car
by: Anne

Stash a few meals worth of plastic cutlery & napkins in a ziplock back in your car glove box for eating on the road. And another in the trunk for the trip home.

Charities That Provide Meals
by: Anonymous

We took our plastic spoons, knives and forks to the local rescue mission. They provide meals and sack lunches and told us they could use these utensils. The Salvation Army also serves meals, so they also might appreciate donated plasticware.

pandemic use for plastic silverware
by: Maria

We use plastic silverware and plates for sicknesses, especially covid now. Anytime a member of the family is sick or in quarantine they eat from paper plates and use the plastic silverware so we don't have to touch it to wash or be concerned that we've not cleaned it well enough and someone else will get sick. After they're done, they throw it away and that's that!!

Plastic cutlery storage
by: mabrooksie608

We keep about 10 each of the plastic knives, forks & spoons for reuse until they break. Used to keep in a plastic zipper type bag but that bag wasn't working for us because we had to go thru it all to find what we wanted. I was at a local office supply store and in the desk supply area (stacking file bins, paper clip holders, etc.). I saw a pen/pencil/marker cup. It had three dividers in it & I envisioned our knives, forks & spoons all separated in the cup. Bought it & never looked back. We know how many of what is clean & ready to use.

by: Anonymous

We save extra condiments to take to our time share every year. That way we don’t have to buy jars of mayo, ketchup etc when we get there. We did realize we had kept some for years so now every year when we get home we throw those out and start over for the next year.

Plastic containers and cutlery
by: Kre8tiv Chris

I use the plastic containers to transport food to family and friends. Monday will be some special cookies for the grandkids. I used some heavy duty containers to store small kids toys in. The kids can see them and pick out what they want to play with. Keeps them organized too.

Plastic cutlery I use to dish out pet food for our cats.

repurpose some of them in the garden
by: Mary

I try not to bring them into the house in the first place. But they sneak in! The plastic forks I use in my garden to repel critters from destroying my baby plants. I also keep some knives for gardening odd jobs. They have a spot in my garage.

"Other" schools
by: Let

I work with adult students (ages 18 to 21) with special needs. We are the bridge between their lives as students, to their lives as adults. Our lessons include being out in the community, accessing public transportation, leisure activities, budgeting for and purchasing items etc.

These programs are usually very thinly budgeted and would welcome the donation of utensils, etc, either to use in art, planting or to eat when they are out in the community.

Also, check with local Loaves and Fishes/Meals On Wheels providers or senior centers, they welcome these types of donations.

We frequently visit our local community health center with students, as is is very near to a public transportation center. The auxiliary volunteers have a "free stuff" table on which people can place small donated items for the public to take as needed. The wonderful security personnel at this facility also welcome some of this type of free stuff for their break room.

Lastly,I am very picky about my straws. I prefer a smaller diameter straw, and as such, have bought one that suits me and is reusable. A coworker who was teaching an art lesson recently, needed some small circular items to use to make stamped art. The staff room was out of straws, and I remembered putting one in the center console of my car.

When I opened it up, I was sobered by how many I had in there! All were the paper straws, and although very compostable, could still be a waste. She took them all, they stamped circles and other shapes with them, and one creative student used the ones with dried paint on them to make flowers!

Condiment Packets, Napkins, & Plastic Cutlery
by: Anonymous

This category needs constant attention. Ketchup packets are used to top off our main ketchup bottle. Salt packets are poured into salt shaker. Napkins are used for checking fluids in the car and for use whenever the fast food place FORGETS to include them. Also, keep napkins on makeup vanity to remove makeup from fingers before blow drying my hair. I use to take the plastic cutlery to work. Can hardly believe that grownups would bring their lunch and expect the company to provide the cutlery. Difficult to eat soup if you forgot your spoon. Keep 1 or 2 sets of cutlery in car. One fish place provides cutlery but they have extremely wimpy forks.

by: Anonymous

When I was still teaching I would take my extras to school and put them in the teachers lunch room. It was nice to be able to grab a fork if I forgot one in my lunch or if someone brought in a dessert to share. If you know any teachers or others that work in a school ask them if they could use them. The condiment packets also always got used.

idea for soy sauce
by: Anonymous

You can open each soy sauce packet and empty it into a washed green olive jar. Quickly get rid of all the packets and have a bottle of soy sauce in the pantry for home use.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to kitchen clutter.

Click here to get your Declutter 365 products for 2024

Get Decluttering & Organizing Tips Newsletter


Join the Home Storage Solutions 101 newsletter, and get as your free gift the 2024 Declutter 365 Calendar (a $20 value) from me, Taylor, your decluttering and organizing guide.

When you work through the Declutter 365 missions, and accompanying 52 Week Organized Home Challenges, you'll be able to declutter your home one mission at a time, organize what's left, and learn the skills, habits and routines to maintain your space from now on.

* indicates required

Let's Stay Connected!

be a fan of Home Storage Solutions 101 on Facebook Follow Taylor on Pinterest follow Taylor on Instagram

Subscribe To Decluttering & Organizing Newsletter

Subscribe to the decluttering and organizing newsletter

Join Declutter 365 Public Facebook Group (900,000+ Members)

Click to join the Declutter 365 Facebook group

Get Daily Texts

Get Planner Stickers

Coaching From Taylor

Decluttering Checklists Pack

Get Help With Meal Planning

Get Organized HQ